How To Tell What Type Of Cherry Tree You Have

Background Information

Cherry trees are an important part of the horticultural landscape, providing delicious fruit, beautiful flowers, and shade. When you begin to grow cherry trees in your garden, the most important question you will likely ask is: How do I tell what type of cherry tree I have? Fortunately, there are a few methods to determine which type of cherry tree you are dealing with.

Identifying Cherry Tree Varieties

The first thing to look for when trying to identify a cherry tree is the shape of its fruit. Sweet cherries, like Rainier or Emperor Francis, have a round or heart-shaped fruit. Sour cherries, like Montmorency and Nanking, have smaller, more elongated fruit. In addition, sour cherry fruit can be identified by its characteristic dark red skin.
The second method for identifying a cherry tree is to examine the leaves. Sweet cherry trees typically have longer and more oval-shaped leaves. Sour cherry trees have smaller and more pointed leaves.
The third method of identification is to look at the bark of the tree. Sweet cherry trees usually produce smoother, tightly-barked trunks. Sour cherry trees, on the other hand, tend to have more fibrous, bumpy trunks.
The fourth and final method for identification is to look at the flowers. Sweet cherry trees produce large, white or pink blossoms, while sour cherry trees have much smaller flowers that are typically yellow or pale pink.

Accurately Identifying Cherry Trees

For homeowners who are interested in properly identifying their cherry trees, there are a few additional steps they can take beyond the aforementioned visual clues. Homeowners can seek out the help of a local agriculture extension office, which can offer more information about the specific varieties of cherry trees that are grown regionally.
Another option is to consult with a certified arborist, who can help determine what type of cherry tree is growing in the garden. These experts can also provide advice on pruning, fertilizing and other maintenance tips to ensure the health and stability of the tree.
Lastly, homeowners can also take a cutting from their cherry tree and submit it to a laboratory for identification. This is a much more involved process, but the results will be reliable and accurate.

Grafting Cherry Trees

Grafting is a process whereby a piece of one plant is inserted into another plant in order to produce a desired trait. This method can be used to turn a sweet cherry tree into a sour cherry tree. By grafting a branch of a sweet cherry tree onto a stem of a sour cherry tree, the desired sour fruit will be produced.
The process of grafting must be done with precision, and it is recommended to work with a knowledgeable arborist to ensure success. This method has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it allows homeowners to easily modify their existing cherry trees to create something different and unique.

Genetically Modified Cherry Trees

Due to advances in modern technology, it is now possible to genetically modify cherry trees in order to alter their size, shape, taste, and even color of their fruit. This process is relatively straightforward and is becoming increasingly popular among commercial growers and backyard gardeners alike.
When genetically modifying cherry trees, professionals first need to identify the desired trait that they would like to produce. The desired trait is then inserted into the DNA of the cherry tree using either traditional cross-breeding techniques, or via more modern methods such as genetic engineering. Depending on the genetic modification process used, the results can be very precise and tailored to the specific needs of the grower.

Pests And Diseases

Although cherries are relatively hardy and easy to maintain, they can still be affected by a number of pests and diseases which can significantly reduce yields and even cause trees to die. The most common pests include Japanese beetles, aphids and borers. Additionally, cherry trees can develop a number of diseases such as bacterial canker, black knot and silver leaf, all of which can be fatal to the tree if left untreated.
Homeowners should regularly inspect their cherry trees for signs of these pests and diseases, and take appropriate action if any are detected. Fortunately, most cherry diseases and pests can be prevented and managed with relative ease, allowing the trees to remain healthy and robust.

Cherry Tree Care

Growing and maintaining a healthy cherry tree starts with proper planting and siting. Cherry trees should be planted in well-drained soil, and in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. In addition, cherry trees should be fertilized twice a year with a balanced fertilizer for best results.
Pruning is also very important for cherry trees, as it will help keep the trees healthy and promote a bountiful harvest of fruit. Pruning cherry trees should be done when the trees are dormant, typically in late winter or very early spring.

Winter Care For Cherry Trees

Although cherry trees are able to tolerate cold temperatures, they are still susceptible to damage when winter weather arrives. The best way to protect cherry trees from winter weather is to mulch around the base of the tree. This will help insulate the roots, preventing them from freezing and allowing the trees to survive the cold season.
In addition, homeowners should make sure that their cherry trees are well-watered before the arrival of winter. This will help ensure that the trees are healthy and robust, and more likely to survive any extreme cold weather.

Pest Control For Cherry Trees

Keeping pests away from cherry trees is essential for their health and wellbeing. Homeowners should inspect trees for signs of pest infestation, and if signs of an infestation are noticed, swift action should be taken. Some of the most common methods of pest control for cherry trees include biological methods such as introducing beneficial insects, as well as chemical measures such as spraying insecticides.
When employing pest control measures, it is important to avoid overusing insecticides as this can lead to harm both to the environment and the cherry trees. When in doubt, homeowners are encouraged to contact a professional arborist or pest control specialist for assistance.

Harvesting Cherry Trees

When the time for harvesting has arrived, homeowners will be eager to get their hands on the sweet, juicy cherries. It is important to note that the timing of the harvest for sweet cherry trees is typically about three weeks earlier than sour cherry trees.
In addition to this, the schedule for each individual cherry tree can vary from year to year, so it is important to check the tree regularly before harvest. When the cherries are ripe, they will come away from the stems easily, making it simple to pick the fruit.

Storing Cherry Trees

After harvesting cherry trees, homeowners are faced with the task of storing their fruit. Sweet cherries should be eaten or frozen as soon as possible after picking, while sour cherries can be frozen or canned for later enjoyment.
Fresh cherries should be stored in a cool, dry place and eaten within a few days of picking. Frozen and canned cherries, on the other hand, can be kept for months, allowing homeowners to enjoy their bounty all year round.

Planting New Cherry Trees

With a bit of research and hard work, most cherry trees can be successfully planted and grown in the garden. Before planting, homeowners should determine what type of soil their cherry tree needs. Additionally, cherry trees should be planted in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, and the area should be cleared of any weeds and debris.
When planting cherry trees, homeowners should dig a hole approximately twice the size of the root system. The hole should be filled with a mixture of soil, compost and fertilizer, and the tree should be loosely secured with a stake. Before planting is finished, the soil should be well-watered, ensuring that it is moist but not waterlogged.

Maintaining Cherry Trees

To ensure that your cherry trees remain healthy and productive, it’s important to provide them with routine care and maintenance. This includes fertilizing the trees twice a year, pruning them on a regular basis, and ensuring they are regularly watered. Additionally, homeowners should inspect their trees regularly for signs of disease and pests, and take the necessary steps if any are observed.
By following these simple steps, homeowners can ensure that their cherry trees remain healthy and robust, providing a bountiful harvest of delicious cherries for many years to come.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

Leave a Comment